Victoria Park wins ‘People’s Choice’ award for the ninth year running

Bridge Entrance to Victoria Park from Barge Lane. Pic: Sonal Nain

Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets has received the Green Flag People’s Choice Award for the ninth consecutive year. The award honours the nation’s top ten favourite parks and recognises international quality marks for parks and green spaces. 

Popularly known as ‘Vicky Park’ or the ‘People’s Park’, it is the largest in Tower Hamlets at 86.18 hectares and has one of the highest visitor numbers of all the London parks, with around 9 million visits per year.

Tower Hamlets Council told Eastlondonlines: “The park is voted by people from the local community and beyond to be in the top 10 nationally.” 

Almost 18,000 members of the public took part in the vote to officially name Victoria Park as their favourite Green Flag Award park for the ninth time.

Green Flag Award Manager Paul Todd commented on the recent win. He said: “Victoria Park is a vital green space for the community in London. This award is a testament to all the hard work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.” 

The award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining the park to such a high standard.

Jessica Odubayo, a communications officer at Tower Hamlets, told ELL: “Some of the measures we take to keep Victoria Park safe and green include routine monitoring of the park, regular patrols, and quick responses to problems reported.”

Odubayo added: “Staff also pedal bikes or walk to minimize fuel usage and make the park more accessible to the public. They also use electric vehicles where necessary.” 

Chinese pagoda, Victoria Park. Pic: Aleksandr Chalikov

The staff also carries out regular inspections and maintenance programmes and re-use vegetation cuttings back into the park where possible.

The massive park is a well-liked and popular place for runners, walkers, cyclists and picnickers. 43-year-old Aftab Desia, a frequent morning walker at the park said: “I love this park because it is so green, open and fresh… My mind is opened up by being here in the natural scenery, and seeing other people walk inspires me to come here daily. I like how the park is centred on the community and offers opportunities for social interaction while also providing time for self-reflection.”

Desia, a resident of Bow in Tower Hamlets, added: “Sometimes I also bring my children here for a picnic when it’s sunny outside. We always have a great time here. This deserves to win the best park award.”

Victoria Park was the first public park to be built in London specifically for the people. The Act of Parliament passed in 1841 made it the first to be planned in the country, and indeed the first in the world, specifically intended to meet the needs of the surrounding communities.

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